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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good Husband

I've done some marriage counseling in my day. I've also worked through my own marriage for 25 years now. I think I've learned a thing or two about marriage. But there is something about husbands and wives that I still think we need to work on. It would seem that women have one level of thinking about husbands - and vice versa.

But I notice that God has given us a pretty strong model for being a husband. And I'm not talking about the standard scriptures that are referenced - where the husband should love his wife like Christ loved the church. To be fair, most men don't have a clue how to put that into practice. They may agree with it, and they may intend to do it. But the fact of the matter is that they don't really know how. So let's make it practical for you guys (and you gals).

A good husband honors his wife. He will protect, respect, help and stay with her. He will be faithful to her, even in his thoughts, his entertainment and his fantasies. After God, she will be first in his life. And his choices will prove it.

A good husband will not expect his wife to work full time outside the home and full time at home. He will work to lighten her load whenever and wherever he can. He'll be at least an equal partner in the household chores, child-rearing duties and other duties. She'll only pick up an unequal share of those duties if her workload outside the home is less than his.

A good husband will be sensitive to his wife's needs. That includes physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He will work hard and sacrifice to see that her needs are provided for - even after his death. He won't resent her needs being met over his. He will consider it a joy to make sacrifices for her - and will freely set aside his needs in favor of hers.

A good husband will relate to his wife with courtesy, consideration, insight and tact. He not be mean-spirited with comments or criticisms. He will not hesitate to correct her when she is wrong ... but will do so with love and respect. He will wade into conflicts to resolve them. He will make her feel safe and will challenge her to be better. In fact, a good husband will bring out the best in his wife.

A good husband will speak well of his wife, even when she's not around. He will be thoughtful as he speaks to her. He will not embarrass her. He will make it obvious that she is a delight to him. He will treasure her and cherish her. And no one will have to guess how he really feels about his wife. His eyes will show it, as they light up when he speaks of her.

A good husband will lead his wife. He will be the spiritual leader in the household. He will set the pace for the family. He will do so in such a way that it is a joy for her to follow him.

Finally, before you start writing letters to tell me about how your wife doesn't live up to the godly wife you expect her to be ... let me tell you how she acts isn't a contingency for how you act. Good husbands are good husbands even if their wives aren't good wives!

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